University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Holly Brown-Borg honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Holly Brown Borg, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), was presented the 2013 Denham Harman Lifetime Achievement in Research Award recently at the 42nd Annual American Aging Association (AGE) Meeting in Baltimore, Md. Brown-Borg also delivered a lecture at the conference titled “Hormones and Aging: Lessons from the Dwarf Mouse.”

Established in 1978, the Lifetime Achievement Award was named in honor of Denham Harman, a co-founder of the association, and honors a person who has made significant contributions to biomedical aging research. The association’s primary mission is to promote biomedical aging studies directed toward increasing the functional life span of humans with one goal being to slow the aging process.

“Holly should be very proud of her achievements,” said Jonathan D. Geiger, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics; and interim chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “She has worked very hard and has earned great respect from her colleagues locally, nationally and internationally. Her successes help her and help us institutionally. We will certainly do all we can to help her and to ensure her future successes.”

Brown-Borg’s aging research is internationally recognized. Recently, Brown-Borg became the organizing chair of the International Symposium on Neurobiology and Neuroendocrinology of Aging. She has served as the president of the American Aging Association, chair of the Biological Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), and chair of the Gordon Research Conference on the Biology of Aging. In 2006, she was elected as a fellow in the GSA, the highest honor given to active members of this aging research society.

The National Institutes of Health, the nation’s medical research agency and the largest source of funding for medical research in the world, has provided grant support for Brown-Borg’s work for more than 18 years. She joined UND’s Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics in 1995. In addition, Brown-Borg has earned funding from the American Federation for Aging Research, the Glenn Foundation and the Ellison Medical Foundation.

Also recognized at the meeting were two graduate students in Brown-Borg’s lab. Receiving awards were Vanessa Armstrong and Joe Wonderlich, both won runner-up Walter Nicolai Awards for meritorious research by a graduate student or medical student in the area of biomedical gerontology. Wonderlich delivered an oral presentation titled “Dietary methionine and aging in long- and short-living growth hormone mutant mice” at the Aging and Nutrition pre-meeting on May 31 and Armstrong presented a poster titled “Growth hormone receptor knockout mice display differences in DNA methyltransferases and interspersed repeats” at the AGE conference on June 2. Both received monetary awards and certificates.

-- Denis MacLeod, assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations, SMHS, 777.2733,

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